Support graduate teachers in their first years in the classroom

Information for school leaders

From 2021 to 2023, up to 700 graduate primary school teachers will have the opportunity to take part in the Transforming the First Years of the Teaching Career Pilot program which provides graduates with additional support in the first two years of teaching.

The Pilot is currently available in specific primary schools across Western and North Eastern Melbourne as well as Inner Gippsland.

Supporting graduate teachers in their first classroom years

The Pilot will support graduate teacher development through:

  • a reduction in face-to-face teaching for professional development and mentoring
  • assistance in connecting with local teachers
  • extra support for those located in rural and remote areas
  • access to new and specialised professional development
  • expansion of Graduate Teacher Conferences to include teachers in their second year of teaching in all areas

Less time in the classroom to focus on professional learning and development

The Pilot provides funding to support a total 20 per cent reduction in participating graduate teachers' face-to-face teaching during their first year. The total time reduction is comprised of:

  • five per cent as stipulated in the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2017 (this component may be allocated against scheduled duties instead of face-to-face teaching time, if agreed between the principal and graduate teacher); and
  • 15 per cent reduction in face-to-face teaching time funded by the Pilot.

In a participating graduate teacher's second year, the Pilot funds a 10 per cent reduction in face-to-face teaching.

Mentor teachers will receive a five per cent reduction in face-to-face teaching for each graduate teacher they mentor.

Graduate teacher capability framework

A roadmap for a supported start to your graduate teacher's career, which is integral to long-term retention and career growth.

Take part in the program

Your school must be in one of the Pilot areas

To be involved in the Pilot, graduate teachers will need to be employed by a participating school.

Primary and P-9/P-12 schools within the North Eastern Melbourne, Western Melbourne and Inner Gippsland areas are eligible to participate in the Pilot program. Eligible schools must apply to participate in the Pilot.

Graduate teachers interested in the Pilot are encouraged to enquire with schools directly to confirm their participation. View the list of eligible schools (pdf - 192kb).

Your graduate teachers must also be eligible to participate

The core focus of the Pilot is to provide enhanced induction experiences for new graduates commencing their first substantive teaching position in an eligible school in the Pilot areas. A graduate teacher is eligible* to participate if they:

  • have graduated with a bachelor or master teaching qualification within the last four years
  • are provisionally registered with Victorian Institute of Teaching
  • are not employed and have not been employed in a Victorian government school prior to their in an eligible school (i.e. are commencing their first full time teaching position since gaining provisional registration)
  • are employed at a Classroom Level 1, Range 1 classification.

* A graduate teacher who does not quite satisfy all these eligibility criteria may still be considered for inclusion in the Pilot. Schools should contact graduate.induction@education.vic.gov.au for further information. 

Eligible schools can inform the Department of the intake of an eligible graduate teacher throughout the two intake years of the Pilot (2021 and 2022). Funds will be released to schools on a pro-rata basis. 

Apply to participate

If your school is within the North Eastern Melbourne, Western Melbourne or Inner Gippsland Area and recruits a graduate teacher that meets the eligibility criteria, you can formally register your school’s participation by completing the form.

If you are registering multiple participants, you will need to complete one form per graduate teacher. You will also need to nominate a mentor teacher for each graduate upon registration. Accuracy is important as this registration is required to activate funding allocations via the SRP.

Following registration, you will receive an acknowledgment receipt by email. Eligible schools can inform the Department of the intake of a graduate teacher throughout the calendar year for the duration of the Pilot.

If there are any staffing changes, the school must advise the Department at graduate.induction@edumail.vic.gov.au

Breakdown of student resources package funding

In 2021, the first group of 350 graduate teachers will commence their two-year program which will conclude in 2022. The second group of graduate teachers will commence their two-year program in 2022, concluding in 2023.

Pilot schools will receive funding to employ teaching staff to cover the release of graduate teachers and mentors from face-to-face teaching duties.

What is funded and how to use funding

The work allocated to classroom teachers in their first two-years of teaching should recognise the need for the teacher to perform all required duties within a reasonable timeframe and participate in induction and development activities. 

A key component on the Pilot is a reduction in face-to-face teaching time for graduates and their mentors. Schools will be funded to employ additional classroom teachers to counteract this reduction and ensure continuity of teaching and learning.

The Victorian Government School's Agreement (VSGA) 2017 provides first year graduates with a 5 per cent reduction of the teaching and learning focus. The Pilot supports an additional 15 per cent reduction in face-to-face teaching time for graduate teachers in their first year of the Pilot and a 10 per cent reduction in their second year. 

This time reduction is to enable graduate teachers more time for preparation, collaborative professional learning with their mentor and peers, and formal professional learning including webinars, workshops, and alliance activities. 

For graduate teachers participating in their first year of the Pilot (2021), the 20 per cent reduction in face-to-face teaching time is based on: 

  • Pilot funding for 15 per cent of a full-time (38 hour week) Classroom Level 2, Range 4 salary for each first-year graduate teacher, plus
  • an additional 5 per cent reduction as per the current arrangements of the Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VSGA) 2017. 


In the second year of the Pilot, participating graduate teachers for the 2021 cohort will be funded for a 10 per cent reduction in face-to-face teacing time also at a full-time Classroom Level 2, Range 4 salary. 

School leaders, mentors and graduate teachers will work collaboratively in  planning and allocating the time release to enable full participation in the Pilot. A pro-rata time allowance will apply to graduate teachers employed on a part-time basis.

Mentor teachers

To enable mentor teachers to fully support graduate teachers with their learning and development, schools will receive funding equivalent to five per cent of a Classroom Level 2 Range 6 salary for each graduate teacher they mentor. 

The purpose of this funding is to support schools in reducing a mentor's face-to-face teaching time so they can support the graduate to undertake observational rounds or team teaching activities, attend workshops and alliance meetings, without feeling overburdened by the role. The reduction is funded for a period of two years, or for as long as the graduate teacher is employed, whichever is shorter.

Funds transfer via the SRP

Schools will be allocated funds for the reduction in time release for a period of up to two-years, or for the period the graduate teacher is employed at the school. If during the two-years, a graduate teacher, providing that the gradate teacher commences at Classroom Level 1, Range 1 classification and is employed at a school within the Pilot area. Schools must advise the Department if a graduate teacher leaves or is employed in a new position. 

Funds will be transferred to schools via the Student Resource Package (SRP) as a targetted initiative, via credit transfer to cover salaries.

Funding calculation for teachers participating in first year of the Pilot

Graduate Teacher

0.15 x (Classroom Level 2, Range 4 classification salary + Ongoing costs) x Ratio of full time employment

Mentor Teacher

0.05 x (Classroom Level 2, Range 6 classification salary + Ongoing costs) x Ratio of full time employment

Funding calculation for teachers participating in second year of the Pilot

Graduate Teacher

0.10 x (Classroom Level 2, Range 4 classification salary + Ongoing costs) x Ratio of full time employment

Mentor Teacher

0.05 x (Classroom Level 2, Range 6 classification salary + Ongoing costs) x Ratio of full time employment

Additional information about the program

If you would like more information about the program, its background and its links to the other Excellence in Teacher Education reforms, read: Transforming the first years of the teaching career